Maybe I was a little bit inspired by Julie and Julia, or, perhaps, its just the adrenalin rush preceding the first day back to school next week, but we are embarking on an “Around the World in 52 Weeks” project. The concept is that we will “virtually visit” 52 countries in alphabetical order (looping through twice). I figured we could learn a little about the culture and history, try out some recipes, do a few traditional crafts, listen to a little music, and (for Jon’s sake) drink a local beer. I decided to let the kids pick what countries we focus on, the only caveat being that we will cover counties of our families’ heritage. Of course, that means our country list will be somewhat Northern European-centric the first time through. So, I proposed the project to the kids. They thought it was a great idea. In fact, they said they wanted to start with Maine, and could they please ride the horses when we get there. Ummm… this was followed by a quick explanation of states vs. country, the concept of alpha order, and that, no, we would not actually be visiting all these places (as appealing as that would be…). After running through a list of countries that started with the letter “A”, the kids unanimously chose Australia for our first visit. And, for some reason, Deirdre has requested that we learn about funerary rites practiced by each culture (or, as she said, “what they do with dead people after they die”). So, check back in next week to learn about our adventures in Australia!